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Responce paper Phil 201

  • From Philosophy, General Philosophy
  • Due on 14 Oct, 2018 03:03:00
  • Asked On 12 Oct, 2018 12:09:16
  • Due date has already passed, but you can still post solutions.
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Having completed the unit of philosophy of religion, you are now ready to respond to an article written by an actual atheist. This article titled “On Being an Atheist,” was written by H. J. McCloskey in 1968 for the journal Question. McCloskey is an Australian philosopher who wrote a number of atheistic works in the 1960s and 70s including the book God and Evil (Nijhoff, 1974). In this article, McCloskey is both critical of the classical arguments for God’s existence and offers the problem of evil as a reason why one should not believe in God. Please note the following parameters for this paper:


1.      Your assignment is to read McCloskey’s short article found in the Reading & Study folder in Module/Week 7 and respond to each of the questions below. Your instructor is looking for a detailed response to each question.

2.      The response paper is to be a minimum of 1,500 words (not including quotes) and must be written as a single essay and not just a list of answers to questions.

3.      The basis for your answers must primarily come from the resources provided in the lessons covering the philosophy of religion unit of the course (Evans and Manis, Craig, and the presentation) and these sources must be mentioned in your paper. You are not merely to quote these sources as an answer to the question—answer them in your own words.

4.      You may use other outside sources as well, as long as you properly document them. However, outside sources are not necessary. Each of the questions can be answered from the sources provided in the lessons.

5.      While the use of the Bible is not restricted, its use is not necessary and is discouraged unless you intend to explain the context of the passage and how that context applies to the issue at hand in accordance with the guidelines provided earlier in the course. You are not to merely quote scripture passages as answers to the questions. Remember this is a philosophical essay not a biblical or theological essay.

6.      While you may quote from sources, all quotations must be properly cited and quotes from sources will not count towards the 1,500 word count of the paper.

7.      You may be critical of McCloskey, but must remain respectful. Any disparaging comment(s) about McCloskey will result in a significant reduction in grade.

8.      Please note that this paper will be submitted through SafeAssign, which is a plagiarism detection program. The program is a database of previously submitted papers including copies of papers that have been located on the Internet. Once submitted, your paper will become part of the database as well. The program detects not only exact wording but similar wording. This means that if you plagiarize, it is very likely that it will be discovered. Plagiarism will result in a 0 for the paper and the likelihood of you being dropped from the course.




Specifically, you must address the following questions in your paper:


1.      McCloskey refers to the arguments as “proofs” and often implies that they can’t definitively establish the case for God, so therefore they should be abandoned. What would you say about this in light of Foreman’s comments in his “Approaching the Question of God’s Existence” presentation?

2.      On the Cosmological Argument:

a.       McCloskey claims that the “mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being [i.e., a necessarily existing being].” Using Evans and Manis’ discussion of the non-temporal form of the argument (on pp. 69–77), explain why the cause of the universe must be necessary (and therefore uncaused).

b.      McCloskey also claims that the cosmological argument “does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause.” In light of Evans and Manis’ final paragraph on the cosmological argument (p. 77), how might you respond to McCloskey?

3.      On the Teleological Argument:

a.       McCloskey claims that “to get the proof going, genuine indisputable examples of design and purpose are needed.” Discuss this standard of “indisputability” which he calls a “very conclusive objection.” Is it reasonable?

b.      From your reading in Evans and Manis, can you offer an example of design that, while not necessarily “indisputable,” you believe provides strong evidence of a designer of the universe?

c.       McCloskey implies that evolution has displaced the need for a designer. Assuming evolution is true, for argument’s sake, how would you respond to McCloskey (see Evans and Manis pp. 82–83)?

d.      McCloskey claims that the presence of imperfection and evil in the world argues against “the perfection of the divine design or divine purpose in the world.” Remembering Evans’ comments about the limitations of the conclusion of the cosmological argument, how might you respond to McCloskey’s charge about the teleological argument?

4.      On the Problem of Evil:

a.       McCloskey’s main objection to theism is the presence of evil in the world and he raises it several times: “No being who was perfect could have created a world in which there was avoidable suffering or in which his creatures would (and in fact could have been created so as not to) engage in morally evil acts, acts which very often result in injury to innocent persons.” The language of this claim seems to imply that it is an example of the logical form of the problem. Given this implication and using Evans and Manis’ discussion of the logical problem (pp. 159–168, noting especially his concluding paragraphs to this section), how might you respond to McCloskey?



b.      McCloskey specifically discusses the free will argument, asking “might not God have very easily so have arranged the world and biased man to virtue that men always freely chose what is right?” From what you have already learned about free will in the course, and what Evans and Manis says about the free will theodicy, especially the section on Mackie and Plantinga’s response (pp. 163–166) and what he says about the evidential problem (pp. 168–172), how would you respond to McCloskey’s question?

5.      On Atheism as Comforting:

a.       In the final pages of McCloskey’s article, he claims that atheism is more comforting than theism. Using the argument presented by William Lane Craig in the article “The Absurdity of Life without God,” (located in Reading & Study for Module/Week 6), respond to McCloskey’s claim.

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  • Submitted On 13 Oct, 2018 10:59:37
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Philosophy Questions Name Course Institution Date Philosophy Questions Question 1 To counter McCloskey`s argument on proofs, Dr. Mark Foreman critically and creatively explains in his presentation about “Approaching the question of God`s existence.” He asserts that the word evidence carries a good amount of certainty for instance mathematically the addition of two plus two yields four as the viable answer. As such there is only that one profound answer in existence, and there is no possibility that any other answer will work on the same mathematical solution (Osborne, 2014). Therefore, the argument regarding God`s existence cannot stem around knowledge or proof the same way one may provide evidence to a mathematical problem. Dr. Forman proposes four ways to approach this discussion. The first one is the best explanation approach. One needs to go a little deeper in affirming claims. It is an approach whether knowingly or unknowingly, which scientists substantially put to use. All in all, Dr. Foreman is of the opinion that God`s existence is the driving force to explain certain universal phenomena. Secondly, arguments are defeasible. The atheist`s arguments are subject to further valid objections. Even so, he notes that he has never come in contact with a defeater to overcome his profound take on God`s existence. Moreover, cumulative case approach in that Foreman is of the opinion that combining several logical arguments increases the magnitude of God`s existence. Lastly, the minimalistic concept of God (Evans & Manis, 2009, p. 67), in that the God illustrated in the Bible offers a lot of information of importance magnified by his powerful Character, which needs to be the qualitative aspect of ascertaining the existence of a supreme being. McCloskey claims lack enough proof than atheist`s inferences on the subject. In every one day’s life, proofs are the essential underlying factors propelling one to a particular fact or the actual truth of an individual statement in question not only in mathematical problems but also scientifically. Dr. Foreman remains logical and justified in proposing the approaches to find out the truth about the argument. Even so, it remains with each and everyone to make their decisions. Question 2 The cosmological argument by Evans and Manis, lines as atheists, attempt in a bid to confirm the existence of the Supreme being basing on the life of the universe or rather cosmos sheds more light on the case of God`s existence. Their argument takes on three key factors explained below. First, some contingent beings exist, secondly, if indeed any contingent being exists, then there is a likelihood that a necessary being must for a fact exist. In that, conting...
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